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Last Updated: Friday, 8 December 2006, 15:32 GMT
Ifans supports Burberry campaign
Rhys Ifans
Rhys Ifans was born in Haverfordwest and raised in Ruthin
Welsh actor Rhys Ifans has become the latest big name to lend his support to workers at the threatened Burberry clothing factory in the Rhondda.

Three hundred jobs will be axed if the Treorchy plant is closed in March.

Ifans, star of hit film Notting Hill, said closure would be a "devastating blow". Another Welsh actor, Ioan Gruffudd, also backs the campaign.

The company, which wants to send the jobs overseas to China, has said the factory was not "commercially viable".

If Burberry does go ahead and close this factory, it will be a devastating blow to the communities of Treorchy and Treherbert
Rhys Ifans

Fellow actor Ioan Gruffudd, one of the faces of Burberry, has also given his support.

Gruffudd, who comes from nearby Aberdare, has written to the label's chief executive urging her to reconsider the proposal.

Welsh Secretary Peter Hain will meet Burberry officials in London next week following his letter to the company.

Ifans, who is currently playing Don Juan in a new version of the classic play in London, said: "If Burberry does go ahead and close this factory, it will be a devastating blow to the communities of Treorchy and Treherbert.

Luxury goods

"It is my intention to convey this message to as many people as possible and to make sure that voices are raised against the plan at every opportunity," said Ifans, who was born in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, and raised in Ruthin, Denbighshire.

Rhondda AM Leighton Andrews said: "Ioan Gruffudd and Rhys Ifans are global stars whose support demonstrates that Burberry has got this badly wrong.

"Burberry is damaging its brand around the world. Its brand rests on the idea that it is represents luxury goods made in Britain. Take the British quality away and you damage the brand.

"The fact that the company has now asked for a meeting with Welsh Secretary Peter Hain shows how worried they are," he added.

Burberry has said consultations were continuing and that it did not intend to abandon Britain, where it employed almost 2,000.

The company said it would still make such products as its trench coat at two factories in Yorkshire.

In November more than 100 workers from the Rhondda factory protested outside the label's top London stores.

They handed out leaflets outside the Burberry's Regent and Bond Street outlets.


SEE ALSO
Hain wants Burberry plant U-turn
04 Dec 06 |  South East Wales
Ifans opens language centre
05 May 03 |  North East Wales
Gruffudd supports Burberry fight
27 Nov 06 |  South East Wales

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